If you were ever involved in competitions or sports, chances are your coach asked you to imagine winning. How does it look, feel and sound? At the time, it might have seemed strange: reclining in a dark room, eyes closed, listening to imaginary scenarios. But there’s science behind visualization practices.
Visualization can feel like a hypnosis session. After all, hypnosis is based on manipulating thought patterns through suggestions. And hypnosis, meditation and visualization actually have similar neurophysiological profiles. Nothing is being done to you; instead, it’s you who is tapping into something deep within the brain folds, accessing your creative power.
Successful people all over the world use visualization to spawn dreams into reality realms. Visualization is just concentrated dreaming. It’s mind over matter. It’s constructing life from a space inside our brains.
When digging a little deeper, visualization becomes less about winning and more about self-improvement than anything else. With visualization, you can create a world built from your own energies and desires. There are so many reasons why it will help you grow as a person. And there are so many ways you can do it.
Here are a few of the things that visualization can do for your well-being when it becomes part of your routine:
Visualization provides plenty of strength and courage to tackle daunting tasks. Afraid to get on stage? Nervous about an upcoming performance? Unsure of how to win that competition? Using visualization triggers hormones and synapses that make it easier to achieve those goals. When you’ve already envisioned the scenario, the real thing will feel familiar and much more feasible. It will be as if you’ve done it before. And inside your brain, you have.
Visualization brings moments of positivity in a world sometimes full of negativity. So often, people respond to dreams with statements like, How will you do that? or That’s going to be so hard to accomplish. And yeah, sure, it will be hard, but you’re totally up for the challenge. During a visualization session, you get to live out your dreams despite what others say. It’s an effective way to battle that negative voice inside your own head, too.
Visualization allows creative moments to exist, something the mind desperately needs. We tend to exist in scheduled spaces and confines of time. Fostering a practice that gives your mind a break from the mundane will be a relief to your psyche. Our brains need breaks—ones full of promise and fantastical visions, ones free from the chains of social constructs and full of creativity.
Visualization fulfills the law of attraction, which facilitates dream building. Energy goes where attention flows. Want something badly enough? Then go ahead and dwell on it in healthy, optimistic ways. The more you visualize yourself living the life you want, the sooner universal energies will align with you to give you what you want. But don’t forget that being proactive is required and supports your visualization practice.
Visualization develops belief in self and creates a fulfilling life. When we lose hope, we lose so much. Hope is a catalyst for change. A life longing for something is worth the effort. Discover what you long for and visualize it every chance you get. You won’t be sorry. Actually, you’ll be amazed at how that personalized longing will propel you in directions you didn’t think were possible. Visualization can make that happen, but first you’ve got to believe.
If you’re on board with the benefits of visualization, the next question is how. There are plenty of options, it’s only a matter of finding out what works best for you.
Create the day you want in your mind down to minute details. Imagine yourself winning at life and being surrounded by positive forces. Then imagine yourself dealing with tough moments with grace. Prepare yourself for the day first thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed.
Instead of idly sitting by while getting where you need to go, consider using your commute time to visualize what you want out of life. Engage in active thought patterns while in a passive state. Get carried away with your visualization scenes—go ahead, dream big. Let visualization take hold of your soul and propel you toward activity. You’ll be soothed by your dreams, even in a commuter’s nightmare.
While strolling through any green space, use the quietness of nature to project your hopes into visions. Nature burgeons with magical energies, so collect it while you can. Wander through the outdoors consistently to maintain balance from a hectic environment and promote a healthy visualization practice.
For those who enjoy eating alone, this is the perfect time to reflect. Ask yourself how you’d like things to be better or how you can improve, then picture yourself doing those things. When you visualize yourself doing, you set up neural pathways that make the actual activities easier. Eat visualization for lunch and you’ll be mentally prepared for the rest of the day.
Unwind by relaxing to visualization just before bed, a practice that helps you fall asleep in a blissful state, one that generates dreams into realities while you sleep. Conjure peaceful goals that settle the mind and body, then relish in how refreshed you feel the next morning.
Jacklyn Janeksela, MFA, is a freelance writer and a poet. Her online self, aka that writing life, can be found here. She works for Culture Designers, Thrillist, Honey Colony, among others; her poetry is tangled on the inter-webs. Her herbal alchemy meets astrology creative business can be found here. She explores self through poetry, planets and photography @ female filet.